Amira was once a princess, but after her mother’s clan of sorceresses were branded as traitors and banished, she was removed from the line of succession and now, thanks to a curse that forces her to obey her father’s every command, she works for him as an assassin. Amira’s sister is betrothed to the archduke, the next emperor, who is on his way to finalise the marriage agreement. Despite knowing that what she has to do amounts to high treason, Amira has no choice when her father sends her to kill the man. If she tries to fight the curse, she herself will die. Amira fails to kill Daindreth, the archduke, because he turns out to be possessed by a demon, which takes control and fights Amira. She only barely escapes, and has to admit her failure to her father.
Once Amira realises the archduke’s dark secret, she is determined to stop her sister’s wedding to the man, which turns out to be easier than she anticipated, as the archduke demands that Amira be the promised bride instead. For reasons unclear to both of them, it seems the demon inside Daindreth is pacified when she is near. He hopes this means she may help him fight and maybe break the demon curse somehow. In return, he promises to help her break her own curse – which conveniently transfers control over Amira to Daindreth the instant Amira’s father signs her over to him as his bride.
Due to her curse, Amira now can’t disobey any direct command Daindreth gives her, and hence can’t fight him or escape, despite knowing about the demon inside him. He seems very wary of abusing his control over her, however, and never orders her to do anything that takes away her agency. The more she spends time in his company, the more she discovers what a good man he actually is. He desperately wants to be rid of the demon inside, and it doesn’t take long before Amira is willing to risk her own life to save the man she was once going to kill.
About a month ago, I had never even heard of Elisabeth Wheatley. I was made aware of her existence because of a blog post by Ilona Andrews, highlighting some very funny Instagram videos she’d posted, and I immediately followed her for more amusing content. Ms. Wheatley does an excellent job promoting her books, and it took less than three weeks before I gave in and bought the first four books in the series, determined to find out more about this assassin sorceress and her softboi demon duke. The author herself promises that this is a book where the heroine doesn’t need any rescuing, in fact she rescues both herself and her love interest, and that as opposed to the “Touch her and die!” trope that is so common in a lot of fantasy and romance novels, this is more of a “Touch HIM and die” story.
The rest is here.